I am currently sat in a lambing shed with 1,000 ewes in Hereford while I write this article.
I’m on nights and I always find while I’m going about my job on my own, it often leads to a lot of reflection.
This particular reflection leaves me feeling very blessed to be part of this industry, so much so that I thought I’d actually write about it.
In a world which is so brutally cut-throat in terms of business, isn’t it incredible to see how unique our industry is?
While other industries are in a competitive war, trying to trip each other up, or get a skip and a jump ahead of each other constantly, here we are supporting each other throughout the entire year.
The more I think about it, the more I realise how incredibly rare it is and how important it is to nurture and make sure we don’t lose this way of life.
A lot of industries and individual companies would almost rub their hands together to hear that a competitor was out of the running.
The attitude is ‘there is one less thing to worry about’.
Let’s be honest: they would almost happily push them off the bridge themselves if it meant they could gain that top spot in their industry.
There is really no other word to describe it other than brutal.
Now, do me a favour and look around you.
How many times have you gone and helped a neighbour turn sheep on the road, made hay when the sun was shining, or helped concrete a yard?
How many times have you celebrated each other’s trades at the auction or grieved for your neighbour’s bad TB results or lambing percentage?
This is rare. It is special.
Businesses supporting businesses just doesn’t happen any more.
We have gone through a hard year and we face more difficult times ahead as we navigate Brexit and the long term impacts of COVID.
However, in all that, let’s not lose sight of the amazing industry we are, of how we support each other like no other business community.
The way we farm has stood the test of time and it will stand the test of the difficult times we are currently living through.
We need to remember that none of us tread this path alone and there is a huge community of people around us, who are ready to wrap their arms around us in our time of need.
I, for one, am eternally grateful for the farming community that I have in my life.
Life would be better if more industries worked like we do, but while they choose their own paths focused on one-upmanship, profits and turnover, let’s keep our eye focused on remaining true to our roots and doing business with each other and not in spite of each other.